Collingwood Heritage District

The Town of Collingwood was the first municipality in Canada to have a Heritage Conservation District included on the prestigious list of Canada’s Historic Places.
There are many beautiful historical homes in Collingwood that give insight into the past. The Collingwood Heritage Conservation District, designated in 2002, covers a large portion of the traditional town. Homes and heritage buildings are found on many of Collingwood’s main streets including First Street, Fourth Street, Fourth Street East, Elgin Street, Hume Street and Huron Street. There are also site specific heritage buildings. Link to Map HERE.
The district includes the main street of 1880 -1910 commercial and public buildings and enclaves of historic residential, institutional, and public buildings and park spaces. There are 239 commercial buildings in the district.
The District is recognized by Town of Collingwood Bylaw 02-112 as the historic town core. Eight of the properties within the district are governed by separate heritage designation bylaws.

Heritage Value

The Heritage Conservation District has value in its representation of the history and development of the town of Collingwood from its founding in 1853 as a railway and shipping terminus on Georgian Bay, to a period of economic prosperity in the early 20th century. The District preserves the historic street plan with its duo-orientation to the shipping and shipbuilding activity
at the shoreline, as well as the railway line. The centre street, Hurontario Street, is wider (99′) than the standard (66′) and is among the best preserved 19th century grand main streets in Ontario. It is lined with 1880-1910 commercial and public buildings and is unique in maintaining the angled parking designed to accommodate the first automobiles in the town. Radiating from Hurontario Street is an important historic grid of streets, pedestrian laneways, and pathways. The area has a variety of residential neighbourhoods and enclaves of public and institutional structures and parks that are important in chronicling the evolution of the town’s development and economy. Source: Collingwood Bylaw 02-112 and Collingwood Downtown HCD Study and Plan, Inventory of Buildings by Phillip H. Carter Architect and Planner, 2002.

Character-Defining Elements

Collingwood Heritage Collingwood District has a variety of elements that are important in preserving its heritage value including:
– historic street plan with two grids orientated to the railway and to the shoreline of Georgian Bay
– N-S laneways and E-W pedestrian paths forming linkages to principal streets
– 99′ width and angled parking plan for Hurontario Street
-1880-1910 commercial buildings of 2 and 3 storeys with similar materials (primarily brick), scale, form, and architectural details
– public and institutional landmark buildings such as the town hall
– a variety of residential buildings ranging from modest, frame cottage style, to grand, architect-designed dwellings in stone
– park spaces

Heritage Grants

The Town of Collingwood provides financial assistance for owners of designated heritage structures. Through this program, owners of designated properties may be eligible to receive a grant toward the conservation and restoration of the heritage features of their properties. The grant amount is one half of eligible project costs to a maximum grant of $3,000.00 and property owner may receive one grant per calendar year.

Heritage Tax Refund

As a property owner within the Town of Collingwood Downtown Heritage Conservation District or of a property designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act you may be eligible to apply for a municipal tax refund. The tax refund equals 10% of Municipal portion of property tax. Guidelines and forms can be found HERE


Downtown Heritage Conservation District – Forms & Permits

Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish
Application for a Heritage Building Permit
Grant Guidelines – Application & Grant Process
Application for Heritage Tax Refund

Heritage Collingwood Video

Designation – 6 Key Steps
Here are the six key steps to designate an individual property under Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act:
1. Identify the property as a candidate for designation.
Property owner to write a letter requesting designation to the Collingwood Heritage Committee.
Town of Collingwood Administrative Assistant Building Services. Telephone (705) 445-1290
2. Research & evaluate the property.
If the Collingwood Heritage Committee determines that a property is worthy of designation, the committee will arrange for its consultant to prepare the necessary reports. The Heritage Committee will then recommend to Town Council that a Notice of Intention to Designate be prepared.
3. Serve the Notice of Intention to Designate with an opportunity for objection.
The Town of Collingwood will circulate a Notice of Intention to Designate with heritage information about the property. If no objections are received within 30 days, council can proceed to pass a by-law designating the property.
4. Pass and register the heritage designation by-law (The Town of Collingwood Council prepares documents).
5. List the property on the municipal register (The Town of Collingwood Council prepares documents).
6. Listing on the Provincial Register (The Town of Collingwood Council prepares documents).

Collingwood Heritage Walk
Take a walk through Collingwood’s past. Download the brochure HERE and take a self-guided walk. Scan the QR code to access links to the Heritage Website or visit HeritageCollingwood.com
The Downtown Heritage Walk is approximately 1 km in length and takes 20 minutes to complete.

The Collingwood LOOK UP Tour
The Collingwood Heritage Committee has launched the Collingwood LOOK UP TOUR. Participants are encouraged to explore the town streets on a self guided tour, and to “look up” to see many heritage features of the homes and buildings. Explore the features and forms that define the wide range of architectural styles of the buildings in historic downtown Collingwood. The stories of the architects and the owners are as rich as the architecture of the buildings. Download Brochure

Look Up Tour from Paul Richards on Vimeo.

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